Harry reasoner regents chair in law, University of Texas school of Law

David Adelman

Interviewer: Joshua Rhodes, Interview date:  4/3/19


“We observed that natural gas prices below $3.50 delayed entry of renewable generation into the market.  Higher gas prices encouraged entry into the market by renewables, which actually then led to more [not fewer] coal plant retirements over the [15-year] period we model.”

“We found that putting a price on carbon was dramatically more effective at reducing carbon emissions and increasing the percentage of renewables than a renewable portfolio standard. .. At moderate natural gas prices, in most jurisdictions renewable portofolio standards did not have much of an impact [on renewables penetration] beyond the status quo. The one place that was not true was in the Midwest, where coal and natural gas compete more directly.”

“[But] our model assumes no barriers to entry or friction in the market.  One thing an RPS can do is overcome those barriers, whereas a carbon tax might have to be quite high before you can overcome those barriers.”


David E. Adelman is Harry Reasoner Regents Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law, where he teaches and writes in the areas of environmental law, intellectual property law, and climate change policy. He is an expert on climate change and the clean air act, and has written about energy and climate change.  Before coming to academia Prof. Adelman  was an associate with the law firm Covington & Burling and a Senior Attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C.

To learn more about David Adelman, please visit his home page: HERE